Careers advice series
Watch our careers advice sessions. They are a fantastic and informal way to meet environmental law practitioners and find out about their career paths. New dates are publicised on our events page and you can watch the recordings of those held so far below.
Dragons of Justice: igniting environmental careers in Wales: October 2023
Lawyers for Nature: April 2022
Northern Ireland: February 2022
Becoming a barrister: November 2021
Government lawyers: April 2021
Not for profits: March 2021
Scotland: February 2021
Becoming a barrister or claimant lawyer: January 2021
Becoming a commercial lawyer: December 2020
Wales: November 2020
On 1 November 2023 we held our first in-person careers event in London for four years! The evening was a smashing success attended by more than 70 students. Our thanks to Paul Davies and his team at Latham Watkins for hosting the evening and to all the member organisations who participated in helping students understand the scope of career paths they might follow in the sphere of environmental law:LexisNexis, RSK, Landmark Chambers, the Environment Agency, Ashurst LLP, Edia Insurance, Cornerstone Barristers and RoyalHaskoningDHV.
Internships and work placements
We receive a lot of enquiries about internships and work placements. As a small organisation without an office, we are rarely able to offer these ourselves. Any opportunities we do have will be advertised on our jobs page, newsletter and social media. However, many law firms, government bodies and NGOs do offer placements, so you are advised to apply directly (we can't supply a list). The Law Society website identifies firms which practise environmental law.
Securing a placement or pupillage is competitive. Being a member of an organisation like UKELA will broaden your experience and knowledge and also enhance your profile by providing networking opportunities with professionals working in relevant areas. It will also allow you to contribute to the development of environmental law as a volunteer through the groups and other activities.
Other resources and information
Getting Into Environmental Law
Mark Davies, barrister at Six Pump Court and a previous UKELA Student Adviser, has written a guide on "Getting into Environmental Law". It has information covering the various routes into this area of work, both straight from education or as a career change. There are useful links, as well as a helpful Q and A section.
Our bi-monthly journal, e-law, provides valuable updates on current environmental law issues. For opportunities to contribute an article please contact the student advisers.
There are also other organisations (legal and non-legal, governmental and non-governmental, UK and European as well as International), specialist academic centres, scientific institutions, policy centres and departments, and a variety of journals, magazines, books etc in this area of law and its connecting fields. Information about the various organisations and institutions are available on the web or via the specialist journals/magazines. There are also a variety of courses available in environmental law as well as courses in the wider and related fields.
Not all environmental lawyers or consultants studied law, or specifically environmental law, at undergraduate level, so it is worth exploring the different degrees, courses and options available at this stage and afterwards. There are many careers within the environmental field, be it as an environmental lawyer (within the public or private practice), scientist, consultant, academic, policy adviser, planner, surveyor etc.
Students should consult practising members, or the relevant bodies, of each profession they are interested in joining in order to find out what course might be suitable to study and what they might need to do afterwards in terms of practical training and qualification. Students might like to explore with such members and their respective professional bodies the opportunity of gaining some insight of their area of practice via a week's work experience.
The Hearing is a legal podcast from Thomson Reuters. Look out for the following episodes in particular, My Legal Job & Me. Listen here.
- Episode 24 - Anna Hislop (Client Earth)
- Episode 63 - Climate Change & The Chancery Lane Project
- Episode 102 - Zaneta Sedilekova (Biodiversity and Climate Risk Lawyer)
- Episode 112 - Jack Courtney (Trainee Lawyer)